November 9, 2010
Flying in the face of the international community, including its own guardian-ally, the United Sates, Israel has approved a wide-ranging plan to obliterate the remaining vestiges of the traditional Arab-Islamic identity of East Jerusalem.
Sponsored by the ultra-fascist group known as National Union, the plan would see the demolition of hundreds of Arab homes, establishing extensive infrastructure for Jewish settlers, mainly at the expense of the native Palestinian inhabitants, and building huge bridges for the purpose of achieving "demographic Jewish contiguity."
According to Israeli sources, the plan includes the demolition of parts of the historical wall around the Old Town and the building of a new gate bearing a "Jewish style." The great wall of Jerusalem was built by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1542, which was meant to protect the city against hostile armies.
In addition to launching a war of demolition on the ground, Israel is also planning to carry out additional extensive excavations beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which Muslim Waqf officials contend would make the collapse of Islamic holy places in the area "nearly certainly inevitable."
Cracks have already been observed at the two main Muslim shrines at the Haram al-Sharif esplanade: the Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques. The Haram al-Sharif of Jerusalem, which means the "Noble Sanctuary," is considered the third holiest Islamic shrine after the Sacred Mosque of Mecca and The Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, both in Saudi Arabia.
The latest Israeli provocation, which coincides with a markedly accelerated pace of Jewish settlement expansion activities, is aimed at killing any prospective opportunity for the creation of a viable Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital. It also illustrates and accentuates the nearly total disregard with which the current Israeli government views international concerns about unrelenting Israeli efforts to corrode efforts by the Obama Administration and the European Union to maintain a certain hope, however precarious, for a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Furthermore, it is obvious that Israel is hell-bent to take advantage to the fullest of the upcoming congressional elections in the U.S., realizing that the Democratic Obama Administration is not in a position to pressure Israel, especially at this time, since any real pressure on Israel would be utilized by the Republicans to further weaken an already weak administration.
Hence, it is likely that Israel will have its way this time as well, despite occasional innocuous and largely platitudinous statements from Washington about the continued relevance of the peace process.
If the United States itself is at a loss as to how to force Israel to save the already floundering process from what seems an inevitable looming collapse, the PA leadership in Ramallah sounds even more desperate, helpless and hopeless.
In their private conversations, PA officials at the highest level are admitting that the prospects of establishing a real Palestinian State in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 were more precarious than ever.
One high-ranking official, who would not want his name to be mentioned, sounded really frustrated and more desperate than ever.
"I think we are lying to our own people, first and foremost, by telling them that there is a genuine peace process and that it is still possible to create a genuine Palestinian State. That possibility is dead, just dead. And if we can no longer make a distinction between the dead and the living, it means we have got a real problem."
The one-time PA negotiator opined that "efforts to keep the so-called peace process alive have more to do with a propensity to day-dream than with objective realities on the ground.
"But in the final analysis, day-dreaming represents optimal frustration, despair and helplessness."
Watching its horizons constantly narrowed by any Israeli government that keeps devouring the remaining parts of the proverbial piece of cheese (the West Bank and East Jerusalem), while shamelessly complaining about Palestinian "extremism and terror," the PA leadership just keeps issuing the same old tired statements about Israeli violations of international law, as if these violations were a new phenomenon.
"This is proof that the Israeli government selected settlements instead of peace," said Chief Palestinian negotiator Sa'eb Ereikat.
The PA officials reiterated long-known platitudes about Israel's disregard for the UN and international law, saying that Israel was undermining the efficacy of the UN system, the very authority through which it was created.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu's behaviour suggests rather clearly that he is not at odds with far-right coalition partners who advocate decidedly fascist policies against non-Jews in general and Palestinians in particular.
In fact, the recent approval by Netanyahu of manifestly racist laws obliging non-Jews aspiring to become Israeli citizens to pledge loyalty to Israel as a "Jewish State" and his conspicuous reluctance to condemn the nearly daily acts of terror and vandalism by Jewish settlers against helpless Palestinian villagers and farmers suggests that Netanyahu is more of a gangster dressed in a sheriff's uniform than a responsible Prime Minister enjoying any modicum of rectitude that should come with statecraft.
Speaking during a special Rabin memorial session in the Knesset on 20 October, Netanyahu resorted rather heavily to prevarications, repeating the propagandistic mantra that the Palestinians would have to recognize that Israel is an exclusive Jewish State and that non-Jews in Israel, especially the 2-million strong Arab community, would have to settle for inherently inferior status, despite their status as allegedly equal citizens of the Jewish State.
Netanyahu does not say what he really means by "Jewish State." However, his less sophisticated allies, such as the so-called transfer-ists (those who advocate the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in both Israel proper and the West Bank), say openly that "Jewish State" means one thing: The prospective deportation of non-Jews from "the land of Israel."
As to the other mantra about Israel being a "Jewish and democratic State," one does not have to have an especially high IQ to realize that it is only meant as a propaganda gimmick to deceive the international public opinion—nothing more.
A final note: The followers and supporters of the slain racist rabbi Meir Kahana have been celebrating "the vindication" of his ideas.
Kahana advocated violent ethnic cleansing of Palestinians even at the risk of a partial genocide. In the early 1970s, he wrote a book entitled, They must go.
Marking 20 years since his assassination in New York in 1990, Kahana followers crowded into the hall of the Ramada Hotel in West Jerusalem on Tuesday night, 26 October.
One of his followers, convicted terrorist Baruch Marzel, remarked, "You can see a true awakening to Rav Kahana, because every year it’s growing, every year more and more people are joining us."
"We’ve gone mainstream," event organizer and prominent right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir told the Post.
"You can see this in the Knesset, Kadima and even the Labour Party, all of whom are adopting the beliefs of Kahana.
The crowd chanted, "The nation of Kahana lives!" and "Kahana was right!" and they cheered wildly at videos of Kahana’s old speeches when he made statements like, "Send the Arabs away!"
Unfortunately, there is no escaping admitting that there is so much truth to what both Ben-Gvir and Marzel were saying.
Israel is after all moving swiftly toward full-fledged fascism, a fact that is becoming more conspicuous day after day.